It’s nearly impossible to scroll social media without coming across a headline about Jussie Smollett. The Empire actor is engulfed in controversy after accusing two men of attacking him during a late night in Chicago. Smollett said he was punched in the face, had bleach poured on him and he suffered a bruise on his face. He also accused the attackers of yelling, “this MAGA country n*gger” and putting a noose around his neck. Since then an array of reports have come out that portray Smollett as a “liar.”
Smollett has been accused of “orchestrating” the attack with two Nigerian brothers who also appeared on Empire.
Here’s everything we know about the incident so far:
Days before the attack, a threatening and racist letter addressed to Smollett was sent to CBS Chicago with a powdery substance inside that appeared to be Tylenol.
Smollett was allegedly attacked by two men in Streeterville, Chicago early Jan. 29 morning after going to Subway
He hesitated to call the police because of his pride but fully cooperated when he finally did contact them. Smollett revealed police didn’t initially ask him for his phone records, but wanted his phone. He didn’t hand it over because he had valuable and personal information in his phone. He did submit his phone records within an hour of the attack but they were redacted versions and the police needed more information.
Jussie’s celebrity friends and fans of the actor came to his defense, calling out the forces who give energy to the MAGA movement and condemning racism.
President Trump called the incident, “horrible.” “Doesn’t get worse,” he added.
A police investigation turns up no surveillance footage of the attack, but shows two “persons of interest.”
In his first performance after the attack, Jussie called himself the “gay tupac.”
Jussie Smollett does Good Morning America interview, giving details about the alleged attack. According to his testimony, the attacker punched him and he struck him back. “We started tussling, it was very icy.” He added, “There was a second person involved who was kicking me in my back.” Apparently, his manager was on the phone during the attack. “Then I looked down and noticed there was a rope around my neck.”
The homes of Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, who were seen on the surveillance video, were raided. They were arrested but quickly released.
“Due to new evidence as a result of today’s interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging.”
According to the brothers, they rehearsed the attack with Smollett days before the incident. They reportedly scouted a spot to orchestrate the attack where cameras would catch it. Apparently Jussie wanted the incident to be “physical” but not too harmful. They “made contact with Jussie’s face” but it was “weak.” The “attack” wasn’t caught on camera like Jussie had originally thought because cameras were facing north// away from where the incident occurred.
Countless celebs have come out against Jussie after reports surfaced claiming the “attack” was orchestrated.
“As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with,” said defense lawyers Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson in a statement obtained by Deadline.
“Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”
Jussie’s role on Empire has reportedly been “slashed” in the wake of the allegedly staged attack. He was originally supposed to be in nine episodes, featuring one big musical scene.
His sister Jurnee posted this message on social media.
Jussie will plead his case in front of a grand jury who will decide if he should be indicted on charges for filing a false police report. The Osundairo brothers volunteered to testify.
Footage of the brothers buying supplies for the attack was released on Twitter today.
Jussie Smollett is now a suspect in a criminal investigation by Chicago police for filing a false police report.
Black Twitter Uplifts Jussie Smollett After Being Brutally Attacked By MAGA Supporters
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Lee Daniels is breaking his silence about the racist and homophobic attack on Jussie Smollett: “You are better than that. We are better than that. America is better than that.” pic.twitter.com/Z4IwhOEO5L— Entertainment Tonight (@etnow) January 29, 2019
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DEAR GOD! Prayers and justice for Jussie Smollett.— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) January 29, 2019
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LGBTQ folks are not too sensitive— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) January 29, 2019
We are literally faced with violence for simply existing as we are.
SOMEONE ATTACKED JUSSIE SMOLLETT. DO YALL GET IT NOW?
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“Possible”??— Jayce Baron (@JayceBaron) January 29, 2019
This was a PLANNED racist and homophobic attack because Jussie black and openly gay.
People don’t carry bleach, ropes, and ski masks around Chicago in the middle off the night. https://t.co/NsxVBn1Oo7
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Everybody who was calling LGBTQIA+ folx “sensitive” some weeks ago can absolutely eat shit. I mean that.— Clarkisha (@IWriteAllDay_) January 29, 2019
Because ain’t nobody overreacting. In fact, our unique intersections at race, gender, and orientation make it so that we are UNDERreacting.
Is it clicking now??? Hmm???
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Jussie Smollett has been someone I’ve always admired using his celebrity and platform for good. I wish light and healing for him and his family. Also that his assailants will be brought to justice.— Rebecca Theodore-Vachon (@FilmFatale_NYC) January 29, 2019
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Sending prayers and healing to @JussieSmollett and his family. And praying for all of us who are survivors of homophobic and transphobic violence for whom this triggers so much. 😞😞😞— Yolo Akili (@YoloAkili) January 29, 2019
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I'm fighting back tears on the bus, I'm so angry but I don't know what to do.— Carolyn Hinds 🇧🇧 - Respect Black Women (@CarrieCnh12) January 29, 2019
Don't tell me racism is dead, ITS NOT. Its alive and well in North America, and the media, politicians and celebrities are perpetuating and giving it a platform.
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We ALL have a responsibility to rise up against the ignorance and hate out there. If you know who did this to @JussieSmollett, REPORT THEM TO THE POLICE.— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) January 29, 2019
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Prayers up for @JussieSmollett. People think wealth stops all forms of violence. It doesn’t stop the intersection of racism and homophobia — never has and definitely not in this hostile climate. Being a Black queer man is hard enough. Be safe everyone. ❤️— Preston Mitchum, he/him (@PrestonMitchum) January 29, 2019
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Sending love and light to @JussieSmollett.💋✨ This has to stop. We need our Country back.❤️— Debbie Allen (@msdebbieallen) January 29, 2019
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Anyone trying to ignore the fact that Jussie Smollett is BOTH Black & gay need to sit down.— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) January 29, 2019
This was a racially-motivated homophobic attack.
They called him racial slurs AND homophobic ones.
He carries BOTH identities and white supremacists made it a point to target both.
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Sending love to Jussie and his loved ones. 🙏🏽— Raquel Willis (@RaquelWillis_) January 29, 2019
The hate that fuels white supremacy is the same hate that fuels homophobia. A conscientious society realizes it’s at war with both. https://t.co/hXo56SRDYj
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Given what we’ve seen so far, I fully expect the men who attacked Jussie Smollett to score a sit-down interview with Ellen at some point in the next few weeks. Maybe it will be a roundtable discussion with Kevin Hart.— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) January 29, 2019
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Do not separate Jussie Smollett’s blackness from his queerness here.— I Wanna Infinitely Sk8 With You. (@IfIWereMagneto) January 29, 2019
He wasn’t attacked just because he is black nor was he attacked just because he is gay.
He was attacked because he is both black and gay at the same time.
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This is why holding “a little homophobic joke” accountable is taken so FREAKING SERIOUSLY. To quote @amandaseales, you have to be overly confident...black gay men have to deal w/ not only racism but homophobia.” It is always abt duality and a form of respect. @JussieSmollett 🖤🖤 https://t.co/vzyZMzNHWB— Ryan Jamaal Swain (@RyanJamaal) January 29, 2019
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To my brother @JussieSmollett I’m praying for your strength not only physically but that spiritually and mentally you recover from this tragedy. You are a King. 🙏🏾— Danielle Brooks (@thedanieb) January 29, 2019
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The attack on Jussie Smollett was allegedly by MAGA white supremacists. This is exactly why we need to be defending ALL Black people.— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) January 29, 2019
These people don't care if you're a woman, LGBTQ, or heterosexual. They want us dead. We can't let anyone force us against ourselves.
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If only congress had funded that wall to protect Jussie Smollett from the white terrorists who broke his rib, called him n****r and f*ggot, poured bleach on him and put a noose around his neck while shouting "this is MAGA country".— Travon Free (@Travon) January 29, 2019
Everything We Know About Jussie Smollett’s Allegedly ‘Orchestrated’ Attack was originally published on hellobeautiful.com